Facts and Statistics About the Irish Community and Voluntary Sector

Governance and Company Profile 

1. 59,600 directors serve on the boards of Irish nonprofit companies. Board membership in the sector is almost invariably unpaid.

2. If an average of eight trustees (for the 3,700 unincorporated charities in the database) is added, this means that up to 90,000 people serve in a voluntary capacity in the governance of the nonprofit sector in Ireland.

3. Of the nonprofit companies currently trading, 70 were incorporated prior to 1950; 3,571 were incorporated between 1950 and 1999; 4,934 were incorporated between 2000 and the first quarter of 2010. Of the recently-­‐established nonprofit companies, many are local development organisations – enterprise, partnership and community development companies and many others set up with government funds to deliver local supports.

The Financial Profile of the Sector

4. The total reported income of the nonprofit companies in the Irish Nonprofits Database (upon which these statistics are based) in 2009 was €5.75bn.

5. Reported assets held by the nonprofit companies amounted in 2009 to €3.4bn, of which cash totaled €1.7bn.

6. 951 companies reported a negative asset position, collectively totalling €152m in net liabilities.

7. There is no consistency in the presentation of incoming resources. About half of the nonprofit companies featured in the Irishnonprofits database (upon which this data is based) provide an analysis of the sources of their income, whether from grants, donations, or trading activities, whereas the rest simply report “income”. This situation will change in 2010 for reasons discussed already. In the meantime, all of the amounts below are certainly an understatement of the true position. Of those nonprofit companies that report the sources of their income:

  • 42 report receiving legacies and bequests to a net value of €7.3m, in amounts varying from €795 to €1,254,466 -­‐ a mean average of €172,951
  • 24 report receiving donations in kind (i.e. non-­‐cash) to a net value of €100m – a mean average of €4,182,868
  • 733 report “donations” in values ranging from €10 to €6,916,903, with total reported donations in 2009 valued at €77m.

Grants & Funding 

8. Grants, whether from State or private philanthropic sources, are by far the single largest source of income. Grants are reported as a source of income by 2,886 nonprofit companies at a combined level of €2bn, with:

  • 443 organisations reporting total grant income of less than €10,000,
  • 555 reporting grant income of between €10,000 and €50,000,
  • 1,441 reporting grant income between €51,000 and €.5m, and
  • 433 reporting grant income in excess of €.5m.

9. Ten nonprofits (only one of which is not a health service provider) with a combined turnover of just over €1bn account for €.9bn of reported grant income.

10. The total number of grant sources itemised in the Irish Nonprofits Database is 672, with Irish government departments and agencies accounting for the great majority of these, and a small number of Irish-­‐based international NGOs reporting grants from a variety of foreig governments and international agencies. The profile of grants by source is as follows:

  • 1,778 nonprofits report a grant from one source only
  • 518 report grants from two sources
  • 280 report grants from three sources
  • 154 report grants from 4 sources
  • 245 report grants from between 5 and 10 sources
  • 20 report grants from between 11 and 19 sources.

Payroll and Employment

11. Of the 3,857 nonprofit companies that report employee numbers and/or payroll costs, the total number of employees in 2009 was 101,054.

12. Hospitals and healthcare providers are the largest employers, with 26 institutions alone responsible for the employment of 4,200 of these.

13. The profile of employment numbers suggests a sector of SMEs:

  • 1,458 nonprofit companies employ 5 people or fewer.
  • 1,606 employ between 6 and 50 people.
  • 90 employ between 51 and 99 people
  • Just over 100 nonprofits employ more than 100 people.

14. The accounts of about 3,500 nonprofit companies report neither staff numbers nor payroll costs, thus indicating that they operate on an entirely voluntary basis.

15. No data are yet publicly available about employment levels in the 3,700 unincorporated charities which enjoy tax-­‐exempt status from Revenue (this will presumably change when the provisions of the Charities Act 2009 are commenced).

16. The total wages and salaries expenditure in Irish nonprofit companies in 2009 was €3.7bn, with a further €290m remitted in employers’ PRSI. FAS contributed €151m, in reported grants to 477 nonprofit companies. The geographic profile of the sector.

17. The registered address of a nonprofit body does not indicate the reach of its activities – many national organisations for example are headquartered in Dublin. However, the map below is indicative of the geographic distribution of all 11,700 nonprofits in the Irish Nonprofits Database:

Inkex map

The above statistics were provided by Irish Nonprofits Knowledge Exchange (INKEx) - an independent Irish nonprofit company which is following the Guidestar model first established in the US and now deployed in a number of other countries around the world (Belgium, Israel, Japan and the UK).

Visit the INKEx Irishnonprofits.ie website here

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